Super Bowl XL and Black History Month
A field goal was changed from five points to four. Ohio had at least seven pro teams, with Massillon winning the Ohio Independent Championship, that is, the pro title. Talk surfaced about forming a state-wide league to end spiraling salaries brought about by constant bidding for players and to write universal rules for the game. The feeble attempt to start the league failed. Halfback Charles Follis signed a contract with the Shelby (Ohio) AC, making him the first known black pro football player.
The Los Angeles Rams became the first integrated team in the NFL when they signed Kenny Washington. On May 7, 1947, they signed a second African-American player, Woody Strode.
National Football League, September 19 1965
San Francisco, California
Burl Toler was named by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to be the first African-American football field judge in the NFL. The AFL's first African-American official was Aaron Wade.
First African-American NFL Player From an All-Black College - 1947
Paul "Tank" Younger also signed with the L.A. Rams a year after Washington.
Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1967
Defensive back Emlen Tunnel, first signed as a pro to play for the New York Giants in 1948, became the first African American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967
James Harris became the first African-American quarterback to be a starter in the NFL, throwing for the Los Angeles Rams.
Fritz Pollard, an All-America halfback from Brown University was a pro football pioneer in more ways than one. The 5-9, 165-pound back, who led Brown to the Rose Bowl in 1915, turned pro in 1919, when he joined the Akron (OH) Pros following army service during World War I. In 1920, the Pros joined the newly founded American Professional Football Association, later renamed the National Football League. That season, with Pollard leading the charge, the Pros went undefeated (8-0-3) to win the league's first crown.
Pollard As a member of the new league, Pollard immediately earned a place in pro football history as one of just two African Americans in the new league. In 1921 he earned another distinction becoming the first African American head coach in NFL history when the Pros named him co-coach of the team.
Doug Williams was the first black QB to lead a team to victory in the Superbowl